“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
The disciples were very upset by Jesus’s announcement that soon He would leave them. As their Master and Father, He comforted them, calling them «my little children,” a loving diminutive used by Jewish teachers for their students. He gave them advice and instructions to successfully navigate through their fear and anxiety: to love one another, to believe in His promises, to keep the commandments, and to experience His peace. This advice is good for us today, too! Knowing that they would face severe tribulations, He encouraged them to trust and to what they would face—He only invited them to trust Him. To trust in God, we don’t need to know what trials we will face; we just need to be sure that no matter what happens, He is at our side. Let us do what He asked: accept His will, and appreciate the surprises life brings us.
Jesus assured His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them. Not only is He preparing a home for us, but He wants to spend all of eternity with us. While He is away, until the day of His return, He has left His Spirit, the Comforter, to work on our side, with us and for us. The Holy Spirit remind the apostles of all the truths that Jesus had taught them. If you study your Bible, the Holy Spirit will remind you of its words when you need them and will convict you to do the will of God. The result of His work in your life is a deep and permanent peace: not the absence of conflicts, but the peace that prevails in spite of conflict. This peace keeps you from being afraid. As you well know, fear is one of Satan’s favorite weapons in his arsenal for attacking Christians, along with doubt, uncertainty, and anxiety. However, God’s peace restricts those hostile forces and offers you comfort and strength. Claim the promise of the Holy Spirit to fill your life with peace, and keep a spirit that is willing to receive it.
The word Jesus used on this occasion is equivalent to the Hebrew word shalom, which was a greeting and a blessing in those times. He also used this word to greet people after the resurrection. This peace overcomes every trial and circumstance. Fear distracts us and reduces our peace; that is why Jesus commands us not to be afraid, so we don’t miss out on this blessing.
Jesus wants you to enjoy peacefulness in your soul and His joy on a permanent basis. This is the greatest legacy He has left us as His followers, because manent basis. This is greatest legacy He has left us as His followers, because He is the author, the Promoter, and protector of that peace. May your heart be filled with His peace, and there will not be any room left for fear.